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Philippines Soldiers Killed In 'Friendly Fire' Air Strike In Marawi

Philippines Soldiers Killed In 'Friendly Fire' Air Strike In Marawi

A Philippine Marine fires his weapon towards the stronghold of Maute group in Marawi City, southern Philippines.

THE military is considering limiting or suspending air strikes after 11 soldiers died and seven were wounded during operations to rid Marawi City of members of the Maute terror group, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Thursday.

Looking through the records of the Gulf War in the early '90s - that war was then a showcase to the world of USA military might at an era when CNN was first making its mark as a global TV cable network - we see that there were lots of deaths including those of forward air controllers, those personnel who guide the aircraft into dropping those "smart bombs" into bunkers that hold enemy troops. "The coordination was not properly done", Lorenzana said Thursday as he announced the deaths.

He did not say when the incident took place.

Philippine officials claim that militants have killed 19 civilians in the crossfire, while insisting the military has not mistakenly killed any civilians.

He said the military has so far identified two Malaysians, two Saudis, two Indonesians, a Yemeni, and a Chechen as among those killed in the siege.

Reports state that at least 25 soldiers and five policeman have been killed in the clashes with the extremists in the city till now.

To break the heavy resistance of the Maute Group and restore normalcy in Marawi, it is necessary to use combat support arms, Galvez said.

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The minister raised the possibility of limiting airstrikes if government troops converge within cities controlled by militants.

Duterte declared martial law on the island on May 23 and has discounted negotiations. Tens of thousands of residents are now housed in different eva.

"We are still investigating, conducting an investigation headed by the Chief of Staff on what really happened; kung nagkaroon ba ng miscommunication or was there an error by somebody there on the ground or on the air sa parte ng piloto", he said. The Philippine army affirmed that 90 percent of the city's areas were freed from the militants.

The government has started an investigation led by armed forces chief Gen. Eduardo Ano. "We're merely working closely with civil organization whose objective is to save more lives", he said.

On Wednesday, the Provincial Crisis Management Committee of Lanao del Sur came to the aid of 60 of the trapped residents, including the elderly, who endured hunger as they hid from the militants who want to control Marawi and allegedly create a wailayat or an ISIS province in Mindanao.

"Along with us are about 200 carpenters, household helpers, children and youth, and ordinary Christian settlers", he said. Since they're attempting to avoid civilian casualties it's more hard to destroy the ISIS fighters. The militants, mostly from the Maute group, took over much of Marawi, setting fire to a cathedral and a hospital and taking hostages.

He said the corridor will be implemented by the government and the main separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has signed a peace agreement in exchange for Muslim autonomy in Mindanao, the southern third of the Philippines.

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